Biographical Sketch of Roxana Bradley Burrows

Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Roxana Bradley Burrows, 1835-1922

By Rusty Tobin, independent historian

Assembly District Leader of Allegany County for the Allegany County Woman Suffrage Party (ACWSP)

Roxana Bradley Burrows was the oldest of two children, born May 23, 1853 in Unadilla, New York to Daniel S. Bradley and Emily Stenson Bradley. Before she was three the family moved to Andover, New York where her father gave up farming and developed a successful dry goods business and eventually opened a bank. He was a civic leader serving as Town Clerk and a founder of the local temperance society. The extent of Roxana Burrows' schooling is unknown. The first school in her village was not opened until 1869 and her father was President of the Board. She was either schooled at home or at one of the private schools in the county. She married Augustus M. Burrows, a clerk in her father's dry goods store, in 1871 and they had two sons.

On May 30, 1894, Andover organized the Lucy Stone Club devoted to advocating for woman suffrage. The initial meeting was held at the home of Emily Stenton Bradley, Roxanna's mother, and elected her sister, Mary Bradley Miller first president. Roxanna eventually assumed the presidency of the Lucy Stone Club and in 1904 was elected vice president of the Allegany County Political Equality Club, a county-wide organization devoted to the passage of woman suffrage and affiliated with the New York State Woman Suffrage Association (NYSWSA). In 1907 Roxanna was elected president of the Political Equality Club and would lead the county suffrage organization until the passage of the suffrage amendment in 1917. She served as recording secretary and Chair of the Legislative Committee for NYSWSA in 1910 and 1911. Roxanna became the Assembly District Leader covering all of Allegany County when the Political Equality Club reorganized into the Allegany County Woman Suffrage Party (ACWSP) before the 1915 state-wide woman suffrage referendum. In June, 1917 she announced at the annual ACWSP convention that there was a chairman in each election district and "an enrollment of 5,000 women in force of suffrage" in the county, an impressive number given that there were a little over 40,000 inhabitants in the county at the time.

She was a member of the Andover Baptist Church, the Andover Hawthorne Club and active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. She also served on the Allegany County Republican General Committee from 1920 until her death. She died June 23, 1922 in Hornell, NY and is buried in Andover, NY.

Sources:

----------, History of Allegany County, N.Y., New York, NY: F. W. Beers, 1879, pp. 187, 189.

Harper, Ida Husted, History of Woman Suffrage, Vol VI, New York: National Woman Suffrage Association, 1922, 124. [LINK.]

"Roxana B. Burrows, Chairman, Legislative Committee, NYWSA, to Anne Fitzhugh Miller, March 25, 1911,"

Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911, Library of Congress at http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h?ammem/rbcmillerbib:@field(DOCID+@lit(rbcmiller002669)).

Roxana Bradley, Eighth United States Federal Census 1860, Census Place: Andover, Allegany, New York; Roll: M653_718, Page: 1001, Image: 479.

Roxana E. Bradley, Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1855 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA.

Roxana Burrows, Ancestry.com. New York, State Census, 1875 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA.

"A Political Equality Club," Andover News, Andover, NY, 5/30/1894, 5.

"About Solid for G.O.P.," Cuba Patriot 7/23/1920, 1.

"The Suffragists," The Patriot, Cuba, NY, 5/5/1904, 8.

"Thirty-One Delegates," Boliver Breeze, Boliver, NY, 5/9/1907, 11.

"Mrs. Roxana Burrows," Andover News, Andover, NY, 6/30/1922, 5.

"Mrs. Roxana Burrows," Friendship Register, Friendship, NY, 6/29/1922, 1.

back to top